1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why will digital cameras only shoot short video clips?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Hodders, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Hodders


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 3,957

    Location: Aldbourne Wiltshire

    I need to film my son's school play. The school sell DVDs and raises money.

    I have access to a couple of Canon 5d Mk3s which will provide amazing video quality, BUT they will only film for a maximum of 30 minutes. I can't stop and start it as I will miss a section of the play.

    I want to have one camera set up to film the whole stage and then another that I can use for close ups.

    But the 30 minute limitation makes this a pain - not to mention the ideal of having one continuous audio track as a reference for syncing the editing.

    Are there any still cameras that will film until they run out of memory (like a go-pro for example)?

    Or is there a way of removing the limitation from the 5d3 ?
  2. bremen1874


    Joined: Oct 20, 2008

    Posts: 9,139

    I seem to remember something about tax/import rates. If they record more than 30 minutes they class as a video camera?
  3. d_brennen


    Joined: Jan 30, 2009

    Posts: 14,344

    Location: Aquilonem Londinensi

    I believe it's an import duty thing. It's not a video camera or recorder if the duration is 30min or less so canon and others avoid duty and increased costs.

    Also seem to remember it can be bypassed with a software tool, not sure on how tricky this is or how risky even...
  4. Bug One


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 9,470

    Location: Sandwich, Kent

    If you've got a couple of cameras, record from two different angles, and start / restart at different intervals for both of them.

    Use a high quality auto recorder close to the stage for constant audio (used to use a Zoom Hn4)

    Stitch the footage together between the two cameras later.

    For an 'overview' you could even use a phone camera (provided you've got enough memory) to cover the whole play as a guide to help stitch together later.
  5. Hodders


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 3,957

    Location: Aldbourne Wiltshire

    Could do, but it's a nice idea to have a continuous audio track as you can then very easily sync video clips to the common audio. Having to stitch together audio is a pain when different cameras will have recorded different levels etc.

    If it is a tax/import thing then that SUCKS. I HATE software disabled features.

    But it seems like that is the reason - a £3000 digital SLR can't record 30m01s of video, yet a cheap Chinese go-pro knockoff can.
  6. Gungnir


    Joined: Sep 17, 2005

    Posts: 453

    Location: Suffolk

    Heat is another issue.

    Try Magic Lantern to record RAW footage as long as there is space on card.

    Option to bypass live view auto switch off in menu somewhere.
  7. Steeps


    Joined: Nov 8, 2003

    Posts: 4,682

    Location: Bedfordshire

    It used to be 10min for tax reasons, now I think it's limited to 30min due to heat on the sensor and card (files are split for FAT32).

    I'd use a Zoom sound recorder close to the front to capture the stage then sync footage from the two cameras. Use a trusted volunteer to stop/start the static camera at a quiet point in the play/scene change near the 30min time and you should have minimal disruption, or mount the 2nd camera to a tripod while you restart the first yourself. I used to use the Canon IR remote for this but you need to be at the right side of the camera and within range to do this.
  8. Greebo


    Joined: Jan 20, 2005

    Posts: 29,795

    Location: Co Durham

    EU tax reasons but annoys me. It adds £100 to the cost of the camera. Fine for a £200 point and shoot to not have it but when you are buying a £3,000 body, seems mean not to pay the tax to have it record past 30 minutes so I settle on the alternative reason that for the more expensive cameras its so they don't compete with their high video cameras.
  9. EsaT


    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 4,481

    Location: Finland

    Tax limit has always been 30 minutes.
    It's those 10 minutes and such which come from avoiding over heating (IIRC some Sonys had tight limits) and file size limits.
    Though file size limit is problem only if camera can't automatically split video to separate files.
  10. Steeps


    Joined: Nov 8, 2003

    Posts: 4,682

    Location: Bedfordshire

    Ah yes just tested my older cameras. 5d2 could do 30min but the 7d would stop recording after 12min (4gb file) so we used to restart all our cameras every 10min, 60d also shows 30min. The compacts we were using also stopped after 4gb too.